A Veiled Legacy

Sikh Women

While visiting Kolayat during the full moon festival, I took so many photographs that my head was spinning nonstop, turning in all directions. As always, it is the people who capture my imagination, particularly the women who were flattered by my interest.

For the most part, they are village women whose lives involve much physical labor and are subject to a strict conservative code of behavior and even dress. As their daughters move to the city, this is gradually changing.

When I began reviewing all my photos, I was struck by how all the women wore head scarves or veils, an import left over from the legacy of India’s Muslim invaders that established the separation of men and women known as purdah.


P1070566A Lurking Smile

A Lurking Smile

It is not unusual to see women completely cover their face with their veil.

P1070567Veiled interest

Bright colors like red, magenta and orange are the most popular, off setting the drab desert landscape. These cheerfully veiled and dressed women are like magnificent flowers blooming in a harsh garden where water is scarce.


About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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6 Responses to A Veiled Legacy

  1. Lovely post, lovely photos, lovely veils; truly like pretty blooms in an arid landscape.

  2. Victoria says:

    Thanks for this lovely post; the bright veils and the shy smiling women behind them.. endlessly intriguing, a precious glimpse into their lives.

  3. Malaysia is a Muslim country so head scarves are also a common sight, but I love how each culture makes it their own. Beautiful shots!

  4. There is something incredible beautiful about the veils women wear in India. You have captured some lovely images of the women here.

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